The exhibition contains Norwegian church art from the period after the Reformation in 1536-37 and up to about 1800. It is Norway’s largest collection of church art from that period, and contains, among other things, altar pieces, pulpits, baptismal fonts, memorial plaques and church organs.
In the Exhibition, the showpieces from a unique collection are presented. Some of the most famous master craftsmen of the period are represented. The exhibition both gives a glimpse of the rich use of ornamentation and symbols, and the great variety of inventory used. The items also reflect the theological ideas of the period. Church ornamentation, mainly done by urban craftsmen, was an important source of inspiration that brought new impulses to the folk artists.
The exhibition is located in a room shaped like the nave of a church, with whitewashed walls, a high ceiling and very good acoustics. The room is therefore often in use for concerts and other events. The exhibition was originally opened by the then Crown Prince Olav in 1935, as the first exhibition in the new museum buildings. In the course of the last years the exhibition has been rehabilitated, and new texts have been written. The gallery corridor above the nave is open to the public, and new exhibits are being made.